At Arkana, we create the space for you to get in touch with your truth, opening your path for deeper meaning and greater fulfillment in your life. We work with ancestral medicines such as Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Bufo Alvarius, Nunu/Rapé, and Kambo, using the traditional practices of the indigenous cultures of the Peruvian Amazon. We currently operate two centers, one in the Peruvian Amazon and a second one in the Sacred Valley (close to Machu Picchu), the choice is yours.
With great respect for the plants and the knowledge and healing that comes with them, our lineage of Shipibo shamans set the stage for truly deep and profound healing. Awaken your inner power through their sacred and powerful icaros (healing songs), and discover your connection to all things by exploring some of the 2.2 million hectare Pacaya Samiria National Reserve which is our backyard. Nourish your body and soul with fresh, clean, delicious meals that promote your Ayahuasca experience, and integrate healthy habits into your routine with our yoga classes and extensive selection of gym equipment for all levels. We believe the health of physical body sets the foundation for the health of the energetic body – Often ignored in this type of spiritual work, we find this to be an important part of the healing process, so you can begin implementing the healthy habits that will carry this work with you into your life back home. Finally, relax your mind and spirit with sound baths, meditations, breathwave sessions, and OM circles, or simply enjoy the tranquil views of both sunrise and sunset from our front porch on the banks of the Ucayali River, surrounded by lush biodiversity and the mesmerizing sounds of the jungle.
Arkana’s exceptional team of highly-trained Shipibo Master Shamans represent an unbroken lineage of plant medicine work. With a combined history of over 70 years of experience working closely with Ayahuasca and other master plant teachers of the jungle, our compassionate healers lovingly share their teachings, healing songs (icaros), capabilities, and knowledge with integrity and honor. We strive to maintain the traditional practices passed down through thousands of years of indigenous Amazonian culture, in order to continue to promote the true purpose and nature of plant medicine work.
Experiencing the medicines with us is a transformative personal journey, and so much more. We also work closely with our local community, the Amazonian village of Libertad, to ensure that our Center can benefit and give back to the people who have so generously let us into their homes and hearts. We create employment opportunities, teach free English classes, provide a space for the ladies to sell their handmade crafts, and assist in construction projects, among other things. Our latest endeavor is outfitting the entire village with free solar panels, so every house can have light and electricity. When you join us, you are helping the rainforest and the Amazon communities that live here.
Guests that come to our Center often say they feel like “part of the family” with us – that’s no coincidence, as we are one big family at Arkana! The people that are with you throughout your experience can simply facilitate your own healing journey or become an integral part of it. Our experienced, loving, and professional team of caregivers welcomes you to join our tribe, where we strive to make you feel at home and at ease, supported and cared for with all the love and compassion that is at the core of the plant medicines and people we work with.
Ayahuasca is a powerful medicine that offers us the opportunity to understand our true nature, by shining a light onto our darkness, and holding a mirror up to our fears, negative thought patterns, and self-limiting beliefs. We provide the environment and expertise of a team of highly skilled, warm, compassionate Shamans and facilitators to guide you through the process of awakening, of choosing differently, healing, and expanding. It is a slow but steady path towards freedom – from fear, from illusion, from self-constructed boundaries – resulting in a lighter, brighter, more authentic self, and the full experience of love. It is our honor to help you on this most fulfilling of all journeys: the journey back home.
Feel free to check out our reviews from previous guests, on here (AyaAdvisors) as well as our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PulseCustomTours/). Or, visit our website for more information and to book a retreat with us: www.pulsetours.com. We look forward to having you with us!
Lots of Love,
I attended Arkana, Sacred Valley location, this past spring. The centre is beautiful and very comfortable-great food, beds, showers, etc. Yes, the place is first and foremost run as a business, which I can see from other reviews bothers some people, but I didn’t mind. This place is safe, and honestly, running it as a bit of a commercial enterprise keeps it safe, in my opinion.
I have to single out Angel, Alise, Paco and Rafael-such humble, compassionate, caring people! I learned so much from them.
Why not 5 stars? The staff are a bit disorganized, and we weren’t allowed the opportunity to check in as a group after 2 out of 3 of our sessions, like we were supposed to. Of course, we all chat, but I think a facilitated debrief is important. Also, I think Chandra should be a bit more discerning in selecting volunteers. There was one facilitator (I won’t mention his name because he thankfully no longer works there) who was incredibly immature, boasting about how much ayahuasca he had done, acting like a 5 year old. He was clearly there for the free drugs and nothing else, and it’s alarming he was allowed to stay for months (he was primarily at the Amazon jungle location, so maybe they do things differently over there).
I also want to add a note for folks who are considering ayahuasca as a potential treatment for severe anxiety. That’s why I was there. I had dabbled with therapies and meditation in the past, but never consistently, and had one terrible mushroom trip-that was the extent of my experience with psychedelics. Going into this experience, I had a fear of physical pain and discomfort (nausea, purging, as well as unfamiliar bodily sensations), but no fear about potential visual hallucinations. So, I guess it’s not surprising my trips manifested themselves purely in the body, and not in the mind. I didn’t purge, but I probably should have. During my second ceremony, I started to feel like my limbs were being ripped out of my body, and that my face was being attacked and cut up by chopsticks-it was the most intense physical pain I had ever felt (don’t worry! you always come out of the ceremonies feeling the best you ever have in your life-really nothing to be scared of) I realize now, this was my version of approaching ego death, as I really felt I was dying, but my ego is was so intact and my mind so rigid after a lifetime of destructive thinking, that I was able to stop the experience by curling into a fetal position and repeating to myself “this too will pass” until the medicine wore off. I have since started practicing Vipassana meditation (10 day retreat and now for 2 hours per day) and I do wish I had learned that technique before trying ayahuasca. I know I would have allowed my trip to run its course and I think I would have experienced what they call ego death. I have absolutely no regrets about trying ayahuasca and will do it again, but I would strongly suggest that any folks reading this who have anxiety, to try meditating very seriously for months before trying aya-you will get so much more out of it!
Overall I had an amazing experience at Arkana Sacred Valley 7 day retreat. The facilitators and the Shamans were incredible and that is the #1 priority for a retreat in my opinion. The food was good although it seemed less strict on the diet than the last place I went to. The accommodations were good although it did get a little chilly even with a space heater in the winter. I did have one night where the power went off and since I need to use a medical device to sleep at night this was frustrating as I was told the facility had 24/7 power but the staff took my call at midnight and had someone pick me up and take me to their place where the power was still on which was really nice of them. The location is amazing, right in the heart of Sacred Valley on the river; hiking is great right outside the door.
If this is your first time I HIGHLY recommend following the diet and restrictions on drugs/alcohol very closely for at least 14 days (30 days better) as you will get more out of the experience in terms of insight and visions rather than spending a lot of time up front purging out the junk in your body. Overall I highly recommend this retreat and will be going back!
A few items that are making this review 4 stars instead of 5 (I already provided this feedback verbally and I assume next visit will be 5 stars!):
1) The ceremony hall had no heat and it got really cold at night during the winter. It would have been nice not to have to deal with this as part of the experience, but was doable/manageable with layers.
2) The hike during the Huachuma day was fun but our guide didn’t take us down the safest route. While we all made it back safely this could have been managed more professionally. I know the boundary between staff/participant can get blurred when everyone is taking the plant medicine as part of the experience but this is one time where I feel it should have been a little more of a “guided” hike both up and down rather than blazing a new trail. I still had a blast this day though, one of my favorite days!!!
3) I missed my flight the last day due to the Taxi driver showing up over an hour late. I know this isn’t Arkana’s fault per se, but I still expected them to ensure I got to/from the airport as promised and so this experience was a little disappointing (and stressful!). However, when I spoke to the owner Jose about my issue he agreed to provide a credit in the amount of the cost to change my ticket which speaks volumes about the integrity of this business.
I spent a week at Arkana Sacred Valley and was quite impressed with the work they do there. They were my first ayahuasca experiences and the setting and guidance was really good. Everything is taken care of so you feel as relaxed and ready as possible for something that is going to be really transformative. The ceremonies, the shaman and his wife, the facilitators: they are all amazing and warm and make you feel like a family. I really helped to have a good group of people staying there as well, working together on themselves and for each other. The food is nothing short of amazing, I don’t think I ever had ever such plentiful and delicious meals outside of home.
I cannot give this place a perfect review though, because at times, like mentioned before in another review, the place seems somewhat disorganized. For example, they forgot to book my Machu Picchu tour and had to do it at the last minute when I enquired about it myself. With a little less luck, I wouldn’t have been able to go. The schedule on the website says you book until Sunday, but actually the last activity is on Saturday and you can leave the retreat that day in the afternoon without missing anything. Would have been nice for planning purposes to know these kind of things beforehand.
Still very much recommended and I’d like to go back one day for sure. The memories I made there and were made for me will stick to me for the rest of my life.
My decision to choose the Sacred Valley location between the two retreat locations offered by Arkana was due to the fact I wanted to enjoy the Ayahuasca experience in comfort and have some of the lifes essentials and luxuries while on the journey and the Sacred Valley location certainly delivered in that respect. Tranquil surroundings flanked by a meandering river and lovely accommodation framed by peaceful gardens and space for reflection and connecting great you immediately on arrival .Rooms offered comfortable beds with well appointed bathrooms and plenty of hot water and great water pressure. (If you have traveled much of South America you will understand why I was so happy about this) The fire pit outside and beautiful ceremony room really added to the enchanting atmosphere and appeal of the setting.
The food was excellent, fresh and generous portions with plenty of snacks in between meals in the form of fresh fruit and nuts. All the staff and facilitators were warm and friendly, I cant speak highly enough of Pamela and Chandra whose beautiful voices and serenity are like guiding lights in your ceremonies. Mike also is a really sincere genuine person who provides great company and often unexpected insights and wisdom that I feel have been hard earned in his life journey.
Arkana is a safe and secure environment with passionate and committed staff who undertake their work with compassion, enthusiasm and dedication. While I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Arkana I must admit that the centre was somewhat disorganised and at times the schedule for the day or how activities / ceremonies would operate was unclear. There was also very little group share or personal follow up individually post ceremony which was frustrating at times as you can have powerful and overwhelming visions and feelings with ayahuasca which leave you wanting guidance or assistance to understand, process and integrate.
However we were made aware at the time of our retreat they were signification understaffed and had less facilitators then they typically would which may account for this. On a whole however if you are looking to have an incredible experience in a beautiful environment surrounded by a team of people who radiate love I would highly recommend Arkana, Sacred Valley Retreat.
I connected very well with each of the medicines and will forever treasure the time I spent at this center.
I visited the Arkana retreat in the Sacred Valley after 5 years of deliberation. I had the calling (multiple dreams about a kaleidoscope diamond headed snake telling me to drink), but didn’t get up the courage to go until this year. I’m so glad I did and I’m happy I chose this location at this time. My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to have Alise, Angel (Ricardo), Chandra, and Paco as facilitators. They were an amazing and dynamic group of individuals. Each has their own strength in ceremony and got us through some dark nights facing some difficult histories. Alise was ethereal and gentle. Angel was strong and kind. Chandra was attentive, severe, and sweet. Paco was powerful and fluid. They each made the first week bearable. The work we were doing was a lot to handle. They made it possible.
The retreat itself was amazing as well. Felipe made us all feel at home and was extremely helpful in pointing out hiking trails. He’s a great person with fantastic stories. Sami and I enjoyed our time getting to know him and will always keep him in mind when thinking back on the trip. The space itself is small, but that was never an issue. You feel connected to the hills and river because of the size. Everything you need is there. Specifically, water, tea, and fruit at all times. Angel made all the meals, which helped facilitate the days drinking as well as recover on the off days. He’s creative and adapt in the kitchen. There were trips scheduled to town and up to the salt mines located right in the backyard of the retreat. Our guide was great. He was knowledgeable and was able to tie in our purpose at the ceremony with the history of the area. If you wanted to head in to town, there was a day for it. Machu Picchu? You can absolutely go for another $350 dollars. Other hiking trips? Yes, no problem. Tours were provided. We had breathwork, a temazcal ceremony, yoga, massage, and meditation along with the ceremonies. The only thing I wish there were more of was a morning or evening movement practice. We ran and hiked instead, but something more dynamic would’ve been great to get back in our bodies.
The ceremonies were great and difficult. We actually had 3 different shamans over the two weeks we were there. This led to very different experiences in the ceremonies. The first week, Sami and I felt that the space wasn’t held very well (with the exception of the amazing facilitators.) our shaman felt distant, distracted, and unconcerned. Both the suggestions for our intentions and the icaros felt boilerplate since they were the same for everyone. Christian (the shaman) seemed nice, but I ended up singing my own icaros and mentally kicked him out of my space. Sami and I checked in on each other and did all the work together. Angel helped a ton to wrangle our energy when it got difficult. The second week was a complete turnaround. We had shamans that immediately calmed the group with kindness and attention. They had a beautiful sense of strength and compassion. I can’t explain how great it was having them. I can explain, however, an experience I had. I’m skeptical by nature as well as open to novelty (I understand the dichotomy of that statement). I’ve experienced astral projecting and visits to the fourth dimension plenty of times in the past. That feels as real as the physical world. I do find it difficult to believe in a lot of the folklore of mother ayahuasca and powerful shamans. With that said…these shamans knew how to navigate both worlds with skill I’ve never experienced before. I was going through a difficult time on the Monday of the second week. The histories of all my past and future lives were rushing at me. All of my family lines were screaming at me in their pain and trauma. It started becoming overwhelming, so I looked up to see where the shamans were. Unfortunately, they were singing to someone way across the room. So, I thought, I’ll deal with this on my own. Better to not bother them. They’re helping someone. As soon as I thought that, I could hear my icaros being sung right next to me. I looked to my left and the shaman was there. He was both across the room and right next to me. He said “I can give you a break for 10 minutes. After that you have to confront this on your own.” A sense of ease, comfort, and joy washed over me as the pain left. When it came back, I felt ready to face it. The trauma stored in my neck and shoulders washed away and the depression and anxiety shed like a clay shell falling away. Both shamans during the second week had strength and kindness that allowed for healing. They were playfully singing with each other, building off their strength and pushing each other in a gentle way. Both Sami and I had a healing, but difficult experience as we were working on ourselves.
I shouldn’t leave a review without mentioning the San Pedro or 5-MEO-DMT experience. SP the first week gave us the strength to continue with ayahuasca the second week. Sami literally laughed for 6 hours straight. Everyone who drank became the funniest version of themselves. Our jokes were creative, novel, intelligent, and obscure, but somehow hilarious. We became more social because we were at ease. At night I had more introspective thoughts and explored an expanding universe and the mathematical equation that would see it end in a singularity as it compressed and expanded again. Fantastic. Like MDMA and Psilocybin together. The second week SP led to an extremely calming and expressive walk in the hills. Sapo, on the other hand, was rough. I wasn’t in terror. I wasn’t afraid. I did throw up more than I’ve ever experienced and released a ton of trauma. The sad part is that I don’t know what I saw. I took it in, felt the darkness come on and saw something in my past that shut me down completely. After that I was throwing up for about 45 minutes. I won’t do sapo again. I wouldn’t dissuade others from taking it. It’s just not for me. I want something I can work on. I don’t want to take anything that shuts me down.
I’m very happy with my experience overall. I’m already planning on going back in a year with other people who have been asking me to go with them. The thing I’m going to offer them, after knowing what I know, is a movement, breathwork, and meditation program to help integrate after their trip. I’ve been having difficulty with how many senses are overwhelmed by living in NYC. I did the worst thing possible, I scheduled 12hr days for two weeks straight (with another training certification over the weekend) with clients. As a trainer, I’m responsible for others emotional and physical wellbeing in our sessions. That leaves very little time to address my own needs. Sami, Ari, and I have been calling it integration impossible (coined by Paco during the first San Pedro ceremony). I’m already starting to feel the trauma creep back into my hips and upper back. If I had a week of integration built around realeasing the tension and strengthening around it, I think I’d be further along in my progress.
It was amazing to meet some really great people and start to heal some unheard trauma.
I spent 1-week at Arkana in the Sacred Valley location. It was my first experience with Ayahausca and overall found it to be a very positive experience, with Arkana providing great space to work. The core facilitators and leaders, Chandra, Angel, Alice and Paco were exceptional in their support, kindness, and seriousness in the process.The medicine was powerful and our shaman Jorge did a wonderful job. Aside from the Ayahuasca ceremonies, the temazcal and yoga provided a good support for the work. Not to mention the space is beautiful and the food was delicious.
All that said I decided to give Arkana 4-stars as I think there’s still some room for improvement. Some personal thoughts are: the retreat could use indoor social space for when the weather turns; the itinerary could be managed more tightly to ensure there’s more time for group share and integration discussions as this is in many ways a shared healing process; the cost of the retreat and extra-cirriculars seem a bit inflated, and lastly, in very limited cases I think they can be a bit more selective in choosing mature facilitators to guide the process.
All that being said, Arkana’s as good a place as you could ask for to explore this medicine; the people are wonderful and create a very positive space to undertake a scary but worthwhile process. I fully expect to be back in due time.
I travelled with Pulse Tours for the New Years Retreat to their center in the Amazon. This was my second time doing an Ayahuasca Retreat in the Amazon, my first time with Pulse. To me this was an ideal way to reflect and review the past year, and recharge for the new year. It was an amazing experience and I am deeply thankful to the people that make this possible. But really, any time is perfect to do this, as for many it will mark a significant event in their lives.
Some in our group experienced break throughs in overcoming depressions and it was amazing to witness their healing process. My own experiences were challenging and profound, and as always deeply healing. My experiences with Aya go back to the early 90’s. I consider this medicine the most profound and effective way of emotional and physical healing, spiritual connection and real mystery.
The Arkana Spiritual Center is built very beautifully, the big Maloka is a magical place and the small Maloka perfect for Yoga and Meditation. The whole center is build on Stilts and many areas are screened, which is a blessing because of the Bugs.
The Staff was outstanding, many thanks to everyone from the kitchen staff who prepared beautiful meals for us, those mangos dusted with Spirulina were marvellous! Thanks to the angels who tidied up constantly. Our guide Falcon was amazing. The Facilitators were fantastic. Helpful, caring, knowledgeable.
The group sharing was beautiful and made me appreciate my fellow travellers for their courage and beauty.
When the Shamans sang the Ikaros the magic was happening – tangible. Can not be described, only experienced.
Thank you, to all facilitators and contributors.
The only reason why I can not give 5 stars is because of the accommodation situation, as I struggled throughout my stay with
not having a private bathroom or close bathroom as we had to walk quite far to the (shared) bathrooms which were also to few for so many people in my opinion.
For me, waiting for a shower to free up was ok, but waiting for a bathroom was not – it was especially unpleasant.
Overall I would recommend Pulse to everyone who is truly interested in the inner journey and want a good introduction in this powerful medicine.
I just came back from the New Years 10 Day Retreat and as promised, it was life changing. I chose Arkana through a friend’s referral and he was spot on with his recommendation. From the center to the facilitators to the shamans – everything was professional and 1st class. I ended up only participating in 2 of the 4 ceremonies for personal reasons, and the staff were kind, patient and understanding of my decision, though they encouraged me to continue. Also, the food was excellent :). I’m so excited to have learned so many tools I can continue to use as I integrate back into my daily life. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a change.
I am experienced with ayahuasca and chose Arkana Spiritual Center because it was one of if not the only center having a retreat over the holidays and New Years. I was also interested in trying Kambo which they also offered.
The kitchen staff which prepared our meals was very nice. The cleaning staff who made everything tidy as best can be, was excellent. The tour guides and boat operators where friendly and sharing. The facilitators were kind, caring, much needed and there for you. I would like to thank the manager Cece for all her help to make our experience comfortable and pleasant. The shamans were amazing including the Kambo shaman Johnny (our prayers go out to you for speedy recovery).
Several people in our group experienced breakthroughs, clarity and healing. Profound work can be done at Arkana as well as healing and I can recommend the center for its dedication to helping those in need.
A 5 star review is one that confirms brilliance. For those in our group whose lives were changed, 5 stars would not be enough. I gave 4 stars for a few factors worth commenting for future visitors. I gained clarity and knowledge from this retreat and will carry this with me into my days. There were a few items listed on their online itinerary for our retreat package that were not actually included. Such as a few meals and a few activities. If there is something of importance to you listed in an itinerary, contact Arkana to make sure its part of the retreat. There were times during the week when the group (or part of the group) did not know what was going on or what exactly was going to happen. Better communication is always possible and I feel this was ‘loose’ at times. The facility was special, built on stilts, one can walk everywhere at the center without touching the ground. I found during the ceremonies that even though I was in nature, I was somehow removed from it as I saw no green in the main Moloka and a few of the passage ways were screened (for good reason) making the view to the jungle veiled. I wanted to reconnect to nature and found it difficult during my stay.
I would like to thank everyone at Pulse and Arkana for their hospitality, care, knowledge and work. Many Blessings.
Overall my experience with Pulse tours was an amazing one. I spent 3 weeks in the jungle, receiving 12 aya ceremonies, 2 nunu and 2 kambo in the duration. The staff was very helpful and honest. They seemed to have a interest in helping with your problems and assisting in your healing. I never felt pressured to participate in anything or to perceive things in a certain way. This was my first time drinking ayahuasca and although I have no experience with other brews I feel safe to say Pulse tours Ayahuasca is a good strength. It was a great worry of mine that I would arrive to find perticularily weak aya brew but, by the first ceremony I was blown away by the power of the brew. Although Pulse tours was a wonderous place to experience aya, especially for my first time, there was an uneasing sense of commercialization and misled intention. It felt as if some of the culture had been lost and consciously or unconsciously facillatators and shamans alike were there more for their own development and profit than for others. I was also somewhat disapointed in the shamans ability to hold down the ceremonial space. With that said I am still very grateful of my experience at Pulse and rate it 4 stars.
It’s been 2 years since i was at Pulse, and I read that the ownership has shifted/changed. I’m now 50 years old, and will give my summation.
I felt safe in this journey and with the pulse members, the amenities, the restaurant on travel to the river was great. there were at least 3 newish relationships going on when i was there…the aya and sex/heart with the new members was probably not a good mix. there were a lot of vulnerable ppl there. but the drama of 2 of the relationships, took away a lot from those people. also,
there was also a man who was very deceptive (on heart/BP meds)…and a pathological liar (I’m sure bc my dad was a naval officer, this guy claimed to be a colonel, hell no). I read that after i left, he was kicked out…ugh…it’s hard to face a person I don’t like for reason of knowing him a liar, every morning at breakfast, to greet him openly. I wonder why it took so long. after that…there was some black magic going on around there; i’m repeating what was said on reddit. and i do believe in darkness now.
so, saying all that, I have my sanity and reason, my intuition, and knowing. The 4th aya journey, was BAD! I did not have the ability to integrate that journey…all the others were good. I had no one to help me process anything…bc it was a journey to choose sanity over insanity. I landed, with the Jesus’ help, on the sane side.
If one if brave enough to journey w Aya, I hope that there is an umbilical cord to their sense of self…that can harbor them if/when, it goes south.
btw, i didn’t follow the messages that i received, they happened anyway ( w a realtionship). aya told me the truth there. I think i needed love more than….
bc la medicina , aya, is so potent….and i had no one to process my experience with (i left the morning after) , i strongly recommend an aya pre and post counseling, and during I’m writing this 2 years later. would i do it again? maybe, maybe yes… Mel
Everything was really good. They have solar power and outlets that work everywhere! The shamans are fantastic and powerful and the facilitators are very helpful. The food is awesome and I was very happy with my options for master plants. I wish the ceremonies were a little smaller, it felt like we were really packed into the maloka every night. Other than than that, this is my third time to Pulse for good reason!
Really amazing people. The shamans are powerful and definitely have something special to them. Their jungle center is nice and organized. Beautiful place. I’ll be back.
Very good facilities/activities and nice food. Only thing keeping it from getting 5 stars is how distant the facilitators are at times. Great experience overall.
The Pulse team are fantastic- the people that work there are the backbone to this company. Tatyana is a great spiritual leader and a very special person. Great accommodations and a great view. Wiler, the head shaman and Angela have the best set of pipes to echo through the Malocha. Adriano is the man in charge of the epeditions- ask him a lot of questions about the jungle-he knows everything!!
The one negative thing that stood was the sounds from the village next to us. The sounds of dance music was coming through the jungle while i was tripping on Ayahuasca. Didn’t care for that!